Mid to late May is the perfect time of year to treat your garden to a traditional Chelsea Chop, and the Dobies gardeners have been showing us how it’s done up at our Devon growing fields. The Chelsea Chop is a clever trick used by gardeners at around the same time as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show each year, which results in extended flowering periods for many perennials.
Carrying out the Chelsea Chop
The Chelsea Chop can be used on a wide range of perennials, and the closer to flowering you do your chop, the longer you’ll delay those blooms. Using shears or secateurs, chop back your perennial plant to up to a third. If you complete the Chelsea Chop on some of your garden’s perennials, you’ll delay their flowering period to begin as the first ones to bloom begin to finish – embracing successional flowering in your outside space.
If you have more than one clump of the same variety, why not chop back some and leave others to lengthen the plant’s overall flowering period? If you’re keen to extend the flowering season rather than to delay it, just cut half the front stems back and leave the rest.
Herbaceous perennials can be trimmed down by half as much with fantastic results. For one thing, your plants will look more compact, which means they’ll require less staking and you’ll enjoy lots of smaller, but equally beautiful, flowers.
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